Thursday, 2 December 2010

Preliminary posturings

Perhaps many of you are still snowbound in the UK but it would be nice to hear from some of you who are in Cancun! I arrived last night and today participated in the Oxford off-conference event at the Climate Villa in the real town of Cancun. Cancun is surreal at the best of times - towering modern hotels lined up along the barrier island and a real Mexican town across the lagoon that many tourists do not visit. The COP adds to this by having the formal negotiations many kilometers south of the hotel zone, and the conference center with the side events even further south - and multiple military check points en route.

Arnoldo worked hard to have some of the Oxford delegation present their work to the students and ordinary citizens of Cancun but the events at the Climate Villa are not that well advertised and are a long way from the COP locations. We had a small but interested audience and five of us spoke (me, James Painter, Timmons Roberts, Tracey Osborne and Arnoldo Matus Kramer). We all decided to present in Spanish - some of us a bit rusty - but good diplomacy I hope. It was great to bump into ECI DPhil alum Alex Guerra who has just been appointed director of a new climate change institute in Guatemala.

It hard to find out what is happening with locations so dispersed unless you watch the online news conferences but so far the big news was the Japanese coming out against a second phase of Kyoto and Brazilian head of state canceling his visit because he thinks no progress will be made. Perhaps the ECI dinner tomorrow night will be a chance to compare notes because of the diverse roles of alumni here.

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